Brenda Mann Hammack’s poem “Little Hermit Sphinx” exemplifies this journal’s approach, strengths, and unique contribution to contemporary letters. The poem begins: “strings moon moths on thread. So much gauzier than horse-flies, / but not so illicit as eagle feathers.” Provocative syntax; risky images; the exuberant fracture of expectations—these are the hallmarks of A Cappella Zoo and Issue 6 is no exception. Here is the opening of short fiction from J.S. Khan, “Someone Must Stop the Bonapartists!”: "Alas, it is upon us: the most dire cataclysm to befall the Earth since the Late Heavy Bombardment—there are too many Napoleons!"
And here are the opening lines of “Becoming,” a poem from Callista Buchen:
I live in the forest of lessons, a red fox
on the run, ember-streaked, a single
single flash of color
Nearby, bachelor bears share a castle,
circled by oaks, the holler of blue jays,
this tired vixen…
And here is the beginning of short fiction from Emily J. Lawrence, “The Legs Come Off Easily”:
The girl with the small pupils doesn’t use the handicap stall. Despite the width of her wheelchair. Despite the cacophonous metal racket it makes against the ghost green tiles of the bathroom wall. She rolls backward into the stall shoved farthest against the wall, under the broken bulb—the one she calls the Shoebox.
I can’t recreate here the collaborative efforts of artist Cheryl Gross and poet Nicelle Davis, whose “In the Circus of You” is one exciting three-ring spectacle of illustrations and wild verse. From “In a Note Not Given to the Addressee,”
There is a hole the size of your fist in our
bathroom door. My fault, I’m told, for
pushing the hinge towards your movements.
There is the drama of original, edgy writing throughout; the drama of a real mini drama (“within the face what other faces swim?” by Guy R. Beining); and the drama of flash fiction, including “Curiosity” by Nancy Stebbins: “We’d been hearing a lot about the benefits of physical exercise, so God and I decided to take a stroll in the country.” Take a stroll across the smart, strange, inventive pages of A Cappella Zoo.